Career Woman

Show employees you care about them, not just about being the boss


When you’re the head of a company or a department in a company, you know that ultimately the buck stops with you. As a boss, you have to be in control of the team that you’re working with, assign tasks and make crucial decisions.

The danger is that by being the boss, you can rub people up the wrong way. They may do what you tell them and get the results that you need, but they may not enjoy working for you or find you inspiring to work with. You also need to be a leader, helping your team or employees to give their best and realise their individual potential. You should lead by example and encourage others to share your vision of which goals you want the company to reach.

Some people may be great at pushing themselves to be the best that they can, but fall down when it comes to inspiring others. Try these tips to ensure that your team or employees know that you care about them as individuals, not just about getting the job done. By doing so, you’ll motivate them to give of their best, and create a harmonious working environment.

Encourage two-way feedback

You may have an appraisal system set up at work, where you sit down with employees and assess their progress over the year, as well as setting future goals. That’s all well and good for feeding back to your employees what you think of their performance, but what about finding out what they think of yours?

Nobody is perfect and that includes you, even if you are the boss! Encourage your employees to vocalise their opinions, even if they may critical of the way you do things. Negative feedback should be viewed as giving you an opportunity to develop your managerial skills.

Be clear with your team that everyone has a right to say what they think. Pose questions in order to start the ball rolling when it comes to feedback. For instance, ask them what, if any, changes they would make if they were in your position, or if they’d like to alter the dynamics within the team. Some employees may be apprehensive about voicing their honest feedback; in which case you could do a company-wide anonymous survey.

Show appreciation in different ways

There are often times that your employees will go above and beyond their job specs in order to meet a deadline or get a specific assignment completed. You may expect them to do this because you’d do the same thing or because they value their jobs, but you shouldn’t let extra effort go unacknowledged.

Next time you’re asking people to stay late, make it more fun by ordering in dinner for your staff. With all the different delivery services out there, you don’t have to limit yourself to something dull like sandwiches or pizza, you could order Thai or Japanese food instead. Not only does this kind of gesture show that you care about and value them, but you’ll benefit from everyone getting an energy boost by having a decent meal, rather than just snacking until the work is completed. While you could save the reward for another time and arrange a meal out for everyone, the spontaneity of doing something then and there will be appreciated.

This kind of treat does wonders for team-building too. However, if there’s one employee who’s gone the extra mile, you can also reward them individually. For instance, you could take them aside and suggest they take the next Friday afternoon off, as an acknowledgement for the extra work they’ve been doing. Small gestures like these don’t cost you much but will pay you back in terms of good feeling from your employees.

Booking a team-building day is another way to show staff you’re focused on their development as well as the business. You could arrange this yourself, but it’s probably more efficient to leave it to the experts and outsource the organising to a team-building events company.

You could even hand out plaques and awards to employees who go above and beyond the call of duty to show that their efforts are appreciated. A custom engraved plaque is an inexpensive way to provide morale boost to your employees and gives other members of your team something to work towards. Make the award ceremony a monthly event and your employees will work hard for their chance to win their own plaque. These awards also provide a reminder of the importance of the team, especially when hung up on an office wall.

It shouldn’t all be about work, though. Sometimes the best way to show gratitude to your team is to do something totally off-beat and fun, that’s all about downtime and has no work agenda attached. For instance, arrange a trip where people could bring their partners and kids along – a day out at Alton Towers, anyone?

Issue personal challenges

Someone has to do the routine stuff at work, but that doesn’t mean that’s all they have to do. Without being challenged, staff members soon get bored and frustrated. With more junior members of staff, you need to make sure that they have an opportunity to use their talents at work, and you can do this by assigning them more intricate tasks, in alignment with their abilities. This helps them hone and develop their skills and gives them extra responsibility. It can be about work projects themselves, or it might be involving current employees in the recruitment process for a new post. Asking someone to participate on an interview panel demonstrates that you value their opinion and trust their judgement.

Part of the success of any company is having a workforce that knows it is valued and appreciated by the boss. Keep your team happy and feeling supported and you’ll be able to grow the business successfully as a team.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best.We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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